To help you choose a funeral plan, find out what different funeral plans offer you, how different plan providers compare and what questions you can ask yourself to define your wishes.

There are a few stages involved in how to choose a funeral plan. To find a funeral plan that’s right for you you’ll first need to decide on the type of funeral you’d like.

Once you’ve made that important first choice, you can then research funeral providers that offer the right type of plans.

Arranging a funeral and paying for it in advance can have several benefits as long as you choose a funeral plan that’s compatible with your wishes.

How do funeral plans work?

To choose a funeral plan you'll first need to know, what is a funeral plan?

  • Funeral plans let you choose your funeral and then pay for it in advance.
  • You can pay all in one go for an instant guarantee that your funeral costs will be covered when you die.
  • Alternatively, you can pay monthly over a longer time period if that suits your finances better.

Once your plan is set up it's important to share it with your children, spouse or next of kin. Otherwise, you risk your plan not being used which is a waste of your money.

Laptop And Coffee On Table

Choose a type of funeral

Funeral plans are available for different types of funerals. These are burial, cremation and direct cremation.


Burial is a traditional funeral option. With a burial plan, a person can be buried in a cemetery or graveyard.

Great if you want...

  • A conventional service with traditional funeral elements
  • Pomp and ceremony or a more elaborate affair

But you might be limited by...

  • High costs
  • A service that follows a set structure


After a service at the crematorium, cremated ashes are commonly buried (interred) or scattered.

Great if you want...

  • To avoid some burial costs such as a headstone or burial plot fees
  • A choice of what to do with the ashes after the cremation

But you might be limited by...

  • A structured service with limited scope for personalisation

Direct cremation

Direct cremations are unattended cremations that take place without a funeral service or mourners present.

Great if you want...

  • The cheapest of the three options
  • A choice of what to do with your loved one's ashes
  • Freedom to mark your loved one’s passing in your own way

But you might be limited by...

  • No traditional service

This info is for funeral plans UK. If you’re planning to move abroad in future, a funeral plan probably won’t be suitable for you.

The average price of each type of funeral varies quite a lot too which could be another consideration when making your choice.

Burial Cremation Direct Cremation
Cost £5,077+ £3,795+ £1,498+

+ The average cost of burial, cremation and direct cremation in 2023 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024,

What are the benefits of a funeral plan?

You and your family can both benefit if you choose a funeral plan. You can also take out a funeral plan for someone else for the reassurance that their funeral arrangements will be taken care of even if you're not close by to make the arrangements.

Get the funeral you want

Once you’ve set up your funeral plan and communicated it to your loved ones you have peace of mind that your funeral will happen according to your wishes.

Take stress away from your family

Getting a funeral plan means there is less for your family to organise. One call to your funeral provider is all that's needed to start arrangements.

Pay flexibly

Get the funeral you want even if you can’t afford to pay for it all in one go with the option to pay monthly over a year or longer.

Protect yourself from rising costs

Funeral costs have more than doubled since 2004.++ Once you have your plan, the amount you pay is fixed, and even if prices rise, you won't have to pay a penny more.

Direct cremation funeral plans or plans for small intimate cremations also offer additional benefits.

  • Money that would have been spent on the funeral arrangements can be used elsewhere.
  • Instead of an elaborate funeral, a memorial service can be held in a personal location with more time to plan.
  • There is no obligation to have a memorial at all if you don’t want one.

++ Funeral costs were £1,835 in 2004 and £4,141 in 2023 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024,

Woman Researching Funeral Plans

How to choose a funeral plan provider

Doing your due diligence on the company you would like to take out a plan with is worth your time. Here are the top three things to check before you go ahead with a provider.

  1. All funeral plan providers must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check this by typing the company name into the Financial Services Register.
  2. What are fellow customers saying about the company? Check reviews on an independent online platform like Feefo or Trustpilot. We’re proud to say our Feefo score is 4.9 out of 5.
  3. Different funeral plan providers specialise in different types of funerals. So don’t settle for a compromise that you might regret. Choose a provider that can offer you the services you’re looking for.

We specialise in direct cremations and intimate cremations. Our funeral plan comparison page lets you easily compare funeral plans and services between us and other providers.

Who do you want to carry out your funeral?

It’s worth noting that not all funeral plan providers carry out the funeral themselves. Instead, they act as a middleman between you and one of their funeral director partners.

If you’d like the people you’ve been speaking to be the same people who carry out the funeral, check this is the case.

At Distinct Cremations, we collect the deceased, care for them in our own professional mortuary, carry out the cremation and deliver the ashes back by hand.

How our funerals work

Our funeral plans

Our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to a traditional burial or cremation. If you like the idea having a unique memorial, but would still like loved ones present at the cremation itself we also have our Small Attended Cremation Plans and Simple Funeral Plan.

Choose between our services or for additional pricing information and a full list of our optional extras, please see our price list.

Unattended Direct Cremation Plan

From £1,699 or £19.44* per month

Our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan is a great choice for those looking for a simple, low-cost unattended cremation without a funeral ceremony.

With our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan, the cremation takes place with no service or mourners present at our high-quality crematoria where dignified care is guaranteed.

View our Unattended Direct Cremation Plan * Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £2,332.80 and includes administration fees.

Small Attended Cremation Plans

From £2,099 or £25.23** per month

Our Small Attended Cremation Plans offer a private funeral where the number of people attending is limited to a small gathering of friends and family.

With our Small Attended Cremation Plans, you can have up to 8 people attending a 10 minute service or up to 20 people attending a 20 minute service.

View our Small Attended Cremation Plans ** Price advertised is for a 50 year old paying over a 10 year period. Total cost is £3,027.60 and includes administration fees.

Checklist - how to choose a funeral plan

Here are some aspects to consider when you're ready to choose a funeral plan so you can find the plan most suited to you.

  • Are you the right age for the plan you want?
    Different payment options are available for people of different ages and prices can differ too.
  • Is collection possible in your area?
    Check the plan covers collection of the deceased from where you are, especially if you live in a more remote area.
  • Is the provider supportive and easy to get hold of?
    Our compassionate team are available 24/7.
  • Is this funeral plan the best value?
    Whilst it might seem simple to go for the lowest cost, the cheapest plan isn’t necessarily the best value for you if it doesn’t include the services you want.
  • Is there support with the legal requirements?
    The doctor’s or coroner’s fee is included in all of our plans. We also help with the cremation paperwork, doing as much for you as possible and supporting you with the rest.
  • Is there a choice of location?
    A provider with multiple locations can be helpful if your family is spread out around the country or you may be moving house in future. At Distinct Cremations, we have 40 crematoriums across mainland UK.
  • What type of coffin and urn are included?
    We provide simple and respectful options.

How to choose a direct cremation funeral plan

If you've decided that you'd like a direct cremation, you may like to consider the below to help you make your choice of cremation only plans.

  • Will ashes be delivered quickly?
    We hand-deliver ashes within 14 days or alternatively, we can scatter them in our garden of remembrance.
  • When will the cremation take place?
    Not all providers communicate the cremation date so keep an eye out for this if you want to know.
  • Will there be anyone present at the cremation?
    One of our caring and professional chapel attendants will be present at both our unattended and intimate cremations to make sure the service proceeds with the utmost dignity and respect.

Daisies In The Wild

As well as funeral plans, there are other later-life financial planning options you may like to compare including life insurance and over 50s life cover.

Other useful resources

Continue your research to help you choose a funeral plan. Alternatively, if you're expecting a death in the near future, we can support you in arranging the funeral at the time of need.

Are funeral plans safe?

Direct Funeral

Choosing a funeral plan can be a big decision so knowing what happens to your money once you take out a plan might help you with your choice.

See how plans are kept safe

How to pay for a plan

advice online about funerals

Get to know the different payment options available when you take out a funeral plan to see if paying upfront or in monthly instalments would suit you.

Find out how to pay for a plan

Arrange a funeral

Sue bench

As well as providing funeral plans we also carry out both simple cremation funerals and unattended direct cremations from just £1,199.

View our cremation services

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who followed their instinct with Distinct and chose to buy a funeral with us.

Based on 711 reviews Feefo Logo Feefo Gold 2024
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Mark 21 May 2024
Excellent communication, very helpful and we got just what we wanted in a service. Highly recommended and we will use again. Mark Oliver
Anon 2 May 2024
Service very efficient, and comprehensive. Understandably, you "chased me up" when there was a delay in my response to place an order, but this delay was whilst I contacted all those relatives who might have had a view to express.
Anon 24 Apr 2024
I was very happy with the service I received and they are only a phone call away if I or my sons should need advice or help in any way
Wendy 8 Apr 2024
This is a good company, the cremation was dealt with very smoothly without any problems. The staff were very courteous and professional throughout. Everything was explained over the phone and they were very patient answering my questions. The ashes were delivered on time to my door. Highly recommended.
Anon 7 Apr 2024
They gave a superb service, they were very professional from start to finish, but also friendly and empathetic too, at what was a very difficult time for myself and the family
Anon 6 Apr 2024
Dee was lovely and understanding and advice was easy to understand
Anon 5 Apr 2024
Very kind and helpful lady. She talked me through everything that I asked her about.
Anon 1 Apr 2024
From the very first phone call I felt things were going to be handled well. Kindness compassion and helpful ness were shown throughout. I was kept informed about all the details and the person delivering the ashes was so respectful and kind taking the time to ask about my husbands life. This is who will handle my cremation.
Based on 711 reviews
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